Creamy Tomato Tortellini Soup

Tomato Tortellini Soup infused with fresh basil and Parmesan is irresistibly creamy, easy to make, and so comforting!

This homemade Creamy Tomato Tortellini Soup recipe is my reader’s favorite Parmesan Basil Soup kicked up a notch with pillowy cheese, veggie or sausage tortellini!  It’s luxuriously creamy, cozy and satisfying, loaded with fire roasted diced tomatoes, carrots, celery, onions, garlic, basil and Parmesan pureed until velvety, then studded with tender tortellini. This Creamy Tortellini Soup is pantry friendly, make ahead friendly, versatile and will have everyone coming back for seconds and thirds. Your family will love this recipe with homemade Caesar salad and buttery garlic breadsticks!

If you love tortellini, don’t miss these favorite tortellini soup recipes: Chicken Tortellini Soup, Lemon Chicken Tortellini Soup, Sausage Tortellini Soup, Creamy Ham and White Bean Tortellini Soup. 

How to Make Tomato Tortellini Soup Video

top view of creamy tomato tortellini soup served in a bowl with fresh basil and Parmesan
a spoon scooping up tomato tortellini soup showing how creamy it is

Creamy Tortellini Soup Ingredients 

This Creamy Tomato Tortellini Soup is the ideal, cozy, easy recipe that’s perfect for chilly nights that everyone will love curling up to. Here’s an overview of what you’ll need to to make this recipe (full recipe in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post): 

  • Tortellini: Use refrigerated tortellini for this recipe, NOT the dried kind sold on the shelf, it doesn’t compare. Choose from cheese, sausage, pesto or veggie tortellini – totally personal preference. I recommend the smaller tortellini (it usually says “great in soups” on the package) because the tortellini plumps up when cooked. 
  • Mirepoix: AKA carrots, celery, onions, and garlic sautéed in butter/olive oil. These veggies/aromatics are finely chopped in the food processor in seconds but are a goldmine of flavor. 
  • Fire roasted diced tomatoes: These can be found in the canned section next to traditional diced tomatoes. These are diced tomatoes that have been gently roasted, imparting a complex sweetness and smokiness, while mellowing the acidic bite.
  • Parmesan: Use only FRESHLY grated Parmesan cheese so it will melt easily. Pre-shredded cheeses are coated in anti-clumping chemicals which also prevents them from melting easily.
  • Half and half:  Buy a carton at the store, or combine equal parts milk and heavy cream yourself. 
  • Chicken broth: Use low sodium chicken broth so the soup isn’t too salty.   I prefer chicken broth over vegetable broth because it’s 100X more flavorful.
  • Herbs and spices: This Tomato Tortellini Soup is seasoned using a blend of basil, thyme, oregano, and parsley. And, of course, salt and pepper!  A pinch of red pepper flakes adds an extra kick but ill not make the soup spicy.
  • Flour: This adds body to the soup so it’s ultra thick and creamy.
tomato tortellini soup in a pot with creamy tomato broth

Ingredient substituitions

  • Chicken broth: You may use water plus chicken bouillon or chicken base then add salt to taste. You may also use vegetable broth but it isn’t as flavorful.
  • Fire roasted tomatoes: You can use plain diced tomatoes if you can’t locate fire roasted variety, noting you may need to add a pinch of sugar.
  • Onion: Fresh is best, but you may substitute with 1 ½ teaspoons onion powder.
  • Garlic: You may substitute with 1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder.
  • Olive oil: You can substitute with your preferred cooking oil if you wish.
  • Flour: You can substitute gluten-free flour, if desired.
  • Basil: You can use either 1 tablespoon dried basil or ¼ cup fresh basil, chopped.
  • Half and half: You may also use evaporated milk. Please don’t use regular milk because it will curdle.

HOW TO MAKE Tomato Tortellini Soup

This Creamy Tomato Tortellini Soup is a very easy recipe to make, with the help of your food processor and blender. Let’s walk through how to make it with step-by-step photos (full printable recipe at the bottom of the post): 

  • Step 1: Chop mirepoix. This takes just minutes in your food processor! If you don’t have a food processor, mince by hand.
showing how to make creamy tomato tortellini soup recipe by chopping onions, carrots, celery and garlic in the food processor
  • Step 2: Sauté vegetables. Sauté the vegetables in butter and olive oil for a few minutes to soften and to develop the flavors. Sprinkle in the flour and cook for one minute to remove the raw flour taste and smell.
showing how to make creamy tomato tortellini soup recipe by sautéing the vegetables, then adding the flour
  • Step 3: Add the soup ingredients. Gradually whisk in chicken broth followed by the fire roasted diced tomatoes and all of the seasonings.

showing how to make creamy tomato tortellini soup recipe by adding diced tomatoes, chicken broth, basil and spices to the soup to simmer
  • Step 4: Simmer soup. Simmer soup for 25 minutes uncovered for the flavors to meld and concentrate.
  • Step 5: Blend soup. You can do this with an immersion blender or I prefer a high powered blender to create the silkiest smooth soup.
  • Step 6: Cook tortellini. Stir in the half and half and bring to a simmer. Add the tortellini and cook for 3-4 minutes.
a collage showing how to make tomato tortellini soup recipe by stirring in half and half, then simmering the tortellini

Step 7: Add Parmesan. Stir in the Parmesan a handful at a time until melted.  Dig in!

showing how to make tomato tortellini soup recipe by cooking tortellini in the soup
  • Use small tortellini. While any size tortellini will work, look for the smaller tortellini used specifically for soups.
  • Use fresh Parmesan otherwise it won’t melt! Grate the Parmesan on a citrus zester. If you only have a box cheese grater, then it’s okay to grate to powder, but I would start with only ½ cup, and add more to taste if needed.
  • Add sugar to taste. If you can’t locate fire roasted diced tomatoes and use regular diced tomatoes, prepare to add a splash of sugar at the end of cooking to mellow the acidity.
  • Don’t overcook the tortellini. Tortellini will continue to cook in the hot soup before serving, so take care to not overcook it (it just takes a couple minutes!). To test tortellini for doneness, remove a piece with a slotted spoon, rinse with cold water and carefully taste.
  • Adjust the consistency as needed. As written, this Tortellini Soup recipe is rich and creamy. For a thinner soup, simply add additional broth at the end of cooking, or when reheating leftovers.
  • Use a blender. While you can use an immersion blender, using a high powered blender will create a much smoother, silkier soup.
  • Don’t cover your blender. If completely covered, the steam from the hot soup will cause pressure to build within the blender, and the top may blow off. To avoid this, remove the fill cap and place a paper towel over top while blending.
  • Swap the half and half. Substitute with evaporated milk, coconut milk, almond milk, or even chicken broth. Please, however, don’t use regular milk or it will curdle while simmering.  If you want to use regular milk, add it at the end, after simmering the tortellini.
  • Less creamy.  Omit the half and half and add additional broth as needed.
  • Make it dairy-free. Use vegetable/mushroom tortellini, substitute the half and half with coconut, almond or cashew milk. Use vegan Parmesan like VioLife Just Like Parmesan (according to reviews, it melts extremely well).
  • Make it vegan. Same as above and use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.
  • Make it gluten-free. Use gluten free tortellini.  Replace the flour with gluten-free flour OR whisk 2 tablespoons cornstarch into part of the chicken broth until smooth to create a slurry. (The general rule of thumb is you need half the amount of cornstarch as flour.)
  • Add sausage.  Follow my Sausage Tortellini Soup recipe for how to add Italian sausage (pork, chicken or turkey) to the soup.
  • Add spinach. Add spinach after adding the tortellini and stir until wilted, just a minute or two.
  • Add veggies.  Add other veggies such as mushrooms, zucchini, broccoli, eggplant, corn or green beans.  You can also stir roasted veggies such as roasted broccoli, directly into the soup at the end of cooking.  Add additional broth as needed to compensate for the vegetables.
  • Add beans.  Use any of your favorites such as cannellini, Great Northern beans, etc.
  • Make it spicier. Add more than a pinch of red pepper flakes.
  • Consistency.  Stir in additional broth if you prefer a less rich and creamy soup.
up close of a ladle of tomato tortellini soup recipe garnished with Parmesan
top view of a bowl of tortellini soup recipe showing how to serve with basil and Parmesan
a spoon scooping up tomato tortellini soup showing how creamy it is

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top view of a bowl of tortellini soup recipe showing how to serve with basil and Parmesan

Tomato Tortellini Soup

This homemade Creamy Tomato Tortellini Soup recipe is my reader’s favorite Parmesan Basil Soup kicked up a notch with pillowy cheese, veggie or sausage tortellini!  It’s luxuriously creamy, cozy and satisfying, loaded with fire roasted diced tomatoes, carrots, celery, onions, garlic, basil and Parmesan pureed until velvety, then studded with tender tortellini. This Creamy Tortellini Soup is pantry friendly, make ahead friendly, versatile and will have everyone coming back for seconds and thirds. Your family will love this recipe with homemade Caesar salad and buttery garlic breadsticks!
Servings: 6 servings
Total Time: 1 hr
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 40 mins

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Ingredients

  • 3 stalks celery, chopped into thirds to fit food processor
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled, chopped into thirds to fit processor
  • 1/2 large onion, peeled and quartered
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter (or salted and reduce salt)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 4 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 14 oz. cans fire roasted diced tomatoes with juices
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil or ¼ cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano or 1 tablespoon fresh
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 tsp EACH dried parsley, pepper
  • pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup half and half or evaporated milk
  • 16 ounces refrigerated cheese, veggie or sausage tortellini
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (grated on zester, not like powder)

GARNISH

  • freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
  • fresh basil (optional)

Instructions

  • Add celery, carrots, onion and garlic to a food processor and pulse until finely minced (or mince by hand).
  • Melt butter in oil in a large Dutch oven/soup pot over medium-high heat. Add minced vegetables and sauté for 4 minutes. Sprinkle in flour and continue to cook for one minute, stirring constantly.
  • Gradually whisk in the chicken broth, followed by the tomatoes, all herbs, seasonings and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a gentle simmer. Simmer uncovered for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally so the bottom doesn't burn.
  • Puree with an immersion blender or working in batches, transfer soup to a blender and puree until smooth, being careful to let smoke escape or it will explode (I remove the fill cap and cover with a paper towel). ***Using a blender will give you a MUCH smoother, creamier soup.***
  • Stir in the half and half and bring to a simmer. Add the tortellini and cook for 3-4 minutes, or as instructed on Tortellini package. Add the Parmesan a handful at a time until melted. Dig in!

Video

Notes

  • Tortellini: I recommend the smaller tortellini (it usually says “great in soups” on the package) because the tortellini plumps up when cooked. 
  • Fire roasted diced tomatoes: These can be found in the canned section next to traditional diced tomatoes. These are diced tomatoes that have been gently roasted, imparting a complex sweetness and smokiness, while mellowing the acidic bite. If you can’t locate fire roasted diced tomatoes, use regular diced tomatoes and be prepared to add a splash of sugar at the end of cooking to mellow the acidity.
  • Parmesan: Use only FRESHLY grated Parmesan cheese so it will melt easily. Grate the Parmesan on a citrus zester. If you only have a box cheese grater, then it’s okay to grate to powder, but I would start with only ½ cup, and add more to taste if needed.
  • To make it less creamy: Omit the half and half and add additional broth as needed.
  • Half and half substitute: Use evaporated milk, coconut milk, almond milk, or even chicken broth. Please, however, don’t use regular milk or it will curdle while simmering.  If you want to use regular milk, add it at the end, after simmering the tortellini.
  • To make it dairy-free: Use vegetable/mushroom tortellini, substitute the half and half with coconut, almond or cashew milk. Use vegan Parmesan like VioLife Just Like Parmesan (according to reviews, it melts extremely well).
  • To make it vegan: Same as above and use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.
  • To make it gluten-free: Use gluten free tortellini.  Replace the flour with gluten-free flour OR whisk 2 tablespoons cornstarch into part of the chicken broth until smooth to create a slurry. (The general rule of thumb is you need half the amount of cornstarch as flour.)

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